ASHBURN, Va. — Incumbent kicker Kai Forbath held off draft pick Zach Hocker, and undrafted rookie Silas Redd claimed the final running back spot Saturday as the Washington Redskins trimmed their roster to 53 heading into the first week of the regular season.
The Redskins cut nine players and placed linebacker Darryl Sharpton (ankle) and nose tackle Chris Neild (knee) on injured reserve. They also designated defensive end Stephen Bowen (knee) and receiver Leonard Hankerson (knee) for the physically unable to perform list.
Washington used a seventh-round selection on Arkansas kicker Hocker in April’s draft, and he appeared to have a solid lead after Forbath missed badly on a 46-yard field-goal attempt and put a kickoff out of bounds in the first preseason game.
But Forbath finished stronger, hitting a 45-yarder in the final preseason game while Hocker missed from 39.
Redd, from the University of Southern California, led the team in rushing in preseason with 157 yards on 34 carries and outperformed a trio of drafted competitors to join starter Alfred Morris and backup Roy Helu on the team. Evan Royster (sixth round, 2011), Chris Thompson (fifth round, 2013) and Lache Seastrunk (sixth round, 2014) were among those waived.
Another notable cut was Phillip Thomas, who was seen as a potential long-term solution at safety when he was drafted in the fourth round a year ago. Thomas couldn’t stay healthy, however, and he fell behind fellow second-year player Bacarri Rambo on the depth chart.
Rambo is expected to start in the season opener at Houston on Sept. 7 because of a two-game suspension to Brandon Meriweather for a helmet-to-helmet hit. Meriweather is appealing the suspension.
The nine players cut were linebacker Everette Brown, offensive lineman Maurice Hurt, cornerback Chase Minnifield, receiver Nick Williams, Thomas, Hocker, Royster, Thompson and Seastrunk. Several are candidates to be signed to the practice squad Sunday.
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